Wisconsin Basketball 2015 Preview: Forwards

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Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

When the Wisconsin basketball hits the court to begin play in the 2015-16 basketball season, the Badgers will do so without several major contributors at the forward position from last year’s team.

READ ALSO: Wisconsin Basketball 2015 Season Preview: Guards

For the purposes of this preview, and the lack of a true center on the current Wisconsin Badgers roster, we’ll examine the entire frontcourt as we look at what the Badgers lost last year and what they have returning this year.

What they lost was, well, an important trio of players. The Badgers saw three players – two seniors and a junior – leave last season, and all three are currently in the NBA.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

The biggest hole the Badgers need to fill comes after the departure of senior Frank Kaminsky, who won just about every post-season award there is after his dominating performance last season. Kaminsky was Wisconsin’s bread and butter last year, scoring 18.8 points and adding 8.2 rebounds per game. Kaminsky did it all — pass, shoot, defend, rebound…he was the complete college basketball player.

The Badgers will also need to move on from Sam Dekker, who became one of the best small forwards in Wisconsin history after a stellar three-year career. Dekker scored 13.9 points and added 5.5 rebounds per game last year, and provided one of the more incredible moments of the Badgers NCAA Tournament run.

Both Kaminsky and Dekker are gone this year, as is Duje Dukan, one of the Badgers solid bench pieces from a season ago. Dukan provided size and three-point shooting ability off of the bench last season.

The Badgers will look ahead to 2015-16 without those front court players, and will need to dig deep into a pool of young player to flesh out the 2015-16 lineup. Only one starter returns, and only one other player who has seen significant playing time will be back this year.

The Badgers will get their first opportunity to show off the front court Friday night against Western Illinois, and here’s who you can expect to see out on the court.

Next: Starting Small Forward